REYKJAVIK, Iceland, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Iceland announced that it has granted licenses for arctic oil exploration and development to firms that include Norway's state-owned oil company Petoro.
The two licenses granted went to Faroe Petroleum and Valiant Petroleum, but Norway's Petoro will take a 25 percent share of both, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Saturday.
"This is of course an important step. These are the first real licenses that we believe will be used, and they call for extensive research in the area," said Iceland's Minister of Industries and Innovation Steingrimur Sigfusson,
"The Norwegian participation is also important -- we think that it strengthens the matter in every way, not least to have the support of Norway and its massive knowledge in this field," he said.